The most questions asked often and come up repeatedly all over the internet-

Can you learn Japanese and Chinese at the same time? The answer is yes, but it is not recommendable. Experts don’t advise learners to learn Japanese and Chinese at the same time.

It is very risky. Learning Japanese and Chinese Languages at the same time is uncertain. You can learn one at a time.

Language Tutors don’t recommend learning Japanese and Chinese languages at the same time because Japanese and Chinese languages have huge differences and a few similarities.

According to tutors, “Instant gratification is risky to language learning.” The first couple of months of language learning is slow, precise process that needs patience and determination. If this process happens simultaneously in two tough languages, learner is in danger not being able to focus, devote the necessary time and effort that each language requires. They threaten to get the grammatical rules and vocabulary foundation that is needed for future development.

In the end, there’s a possibility either you give up one good and one bad language or both languages.

Do you wish to learn Japanese and Chinese languages, but don’t know how to start?

Maybe you’re planning to migrate and require learning either of these two languages.

Perhaps you’re a businessman in an interesting situation where you need to learn both Japanese and Chinese languages at the same time for the sake of your business.

Well, you are on the right track.

In this post, you will figure out some tips, benefits and disadvantages, insights, consequences, and more to guide you throughout.

Now let’s dig deeper and answer the following questions that most language learners asked.

How Different is Chinese from Japanese?

The Chinese language is different from Japanese for many reasons. Its language differences vary with the following;

The Chinese language has more major languages groups worldwide than Japanese language.

The Chinese language is divided into seven major language groups, namely; the Mandarin, Wu, Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and Yue. But, recently the classification has broken some of these to extract ten groups and the other variables remain uncategorized. While Japanese language or “Nihon-go” is an isolated language that is spoken in Japan.

They don’t belong to the same language family. Chinese belong to a Sino- Tibetan Family while Japanese belong to the Japonic Family.

Both have different Grammatical Structures in terms of Phonology and sentence structure.

The Chinese language has a tonal language while the Japanese language has pitch accent (have high or low pitch).

A tonal language which is the Chinese language has different tone distinguishes dissimilar meanings. While the Japanese language has a pitch accent that doesn’t usually affect meaning. Its syllables stress is the same in the English word.

The Chinese language has a structured language of an SVO (Subject+Verb+Object) while the Japanese language has a structured language of an SOV (Subject+Object+Verb).

The Japanese language and Chinese language have different qualities in writing and spoken words.

The Chinese language is one of the most complex languages all throughout East Asian languages. The large portion of the Chinese characters utilizes one semantic and one phonetic element. Where one semantic represents the meaning of the word, and phonetic illustrate its pronunciation.

Inaccuracy in the pronunciation may fully change the meaning of the word.

On the other hand, the Japanese modern writing system consists of three scripts and it’s the most complicated writing systems of the world. Hiragana is the major phonetic writing system used to portray each distinct sound in Japanese. Katana represent words while kanji are adopted characters from China determined homophones that support most adjectives and verbs.

Both languages (Chinese and Japanese) have different ways of forming questions.

When forming a question statement in Japanese language the character か (ka) is always added to the sentence. In Japanese, the pitch changes a bit when addressing questions the same in the English language.

While in Chinese language forming a question is different, it is more complicated compared to Japanese language. In Chinese there are many question particles you can choose from when forming a question sentence.

You can add characters 吗 ma at the end, 呢 (ne), you can use 还是 (háishi) before the last word of the question, repeating the verb and adding the character

in between is also forming a question statement.

However, be careful to use those question particles in forming a statement question every question particle has different uses.

To strengthen the fact, if the Japanese and Chinese have language differences they have similarities too but a few. That’s why these two languages are definitely not recommendable to learners if done at once.

Similarities between Japanese and Chinese Languages

In ancient times, the Japanese language makes massive use of Chinese characters in its writing system, and a bigger part of its vocabulary words were borrowed as well. Below are the major similarities between the two:

The Use of Chinese Vocabulary Words

A study has shown that 60% of Chinese Vocabulary words are used in the Japanese language; this includes 18% of spoken vocabulary and all words in the dictionary. However, the pronunciation is different to adapt to the Japanese phonological system.

The Use of Chinese Characters

Those borrowed Chinese Vocabulary words represented by Chinese characters were also applied to native Japanese words with associated meanings.

The above details are clear that learning Japanese and Chinese at the same time is uncertain to learners. They have many languages differences and a few similarities.

Now let’s take a look at the disadvantages when learning Japanese and Chinese languages at the same time.

Disadvantages of Learning the Japanese and Chinese languages at the same time

Harmful Influence to your Learning Success

Learning two difficult languages at the same time expand the difficulty of learning of those languages and harmfully influence your language learning success. Learning two at the same time needs more time, focus and effort.

You End Up Losing One

Even if you’re determined to become fluent in both languages, the learning requires time to make one language slightly more of a priority than the other. The resulting pressure to your learning process becoming you discouraged to pursue. In this scenario, time management is very important. If you don’t know how to manage your time you end up losing one.

More Expensive

The expense in learning these languages is pricey. Since you have two bookings, obviously it is more expensive.


Learning these languages at once is hazardous. You need to give your time, effort for these two speeches on the same day: Imagine, you’re like “serving two masters at the same time.”

Japanese and Chinese languages have similarities in vocabulary words and in characters; any similarities between the two languages can just be misleading.

If you feel that learning two languages benefit you in so many ways, then you have no fear to take the challenge.

The Benefits of Learning Japanese and Chinese Languages

Learning these two languages can be a notably rewarding experience when done accurately. It entails many of the benefits of language learning. See below some benefits of learning Japanese and Chinese languages:

  • It directs you to be more alert
  • Makes you flexible in so many ways that you’re ready to step outside of your comfort zone
  • It molded you to be a versatile person
  • Directs you to be efficient to the maximum extent
  • It opens great opportunities in terms of business and success.
  • Gives more confidence
  • And makes you provident in your language learning approach

These advantages refine your language learning skills in a way that will make learning future languages effortless.

Now you’re ready to take the challenge, enlisted here 5 better ways to learn Japanese and Chinese languages, to walk you through the process.

5 Better Ways to Learn Japanese and Chinese Languages

Today, there are several ways to learn Japanese and Chinese languages and it is very accessible to anyone who wishes to learn these languages. Here are the five better ways to learn Japanese and Chinese Languages;

  1. Get a Personal tutor online.

Whether you are a student, businessman, or a parent with a child or children acquiring a personal tutor online is a great way. You don’t need to travel and spend more pennies just to learn Japanese or Chinese languages.

Secondly, thru online you can learn the language in your spare time. If you are a busy person, or maybe you are an entrepreneur your time is very valuable to you. Getting a private tutor on the internet makes you spend less money, time and energy.

  1. Find a learning company with the best program.

Great program is very imperative in learning these languages. They must offer programs contain massive information with clear and comprehensive grammar explanations for the student. Identify the honorific level of languages and imparts the language writing system to create the best packaged learning program for learners.

Booking with a company with great learning program is an assurance to a better future learning progress.

  1. Search for a learning company or website that offers best-learning programs that worth the cost.

Learning a new language comes with great benefits, but to master any new skill comes with a cost. It is necessary to spend money while learning a new skill, but be vigilant, do your research and spend your money wisely.

To give you some tips, look at the website’s overview, try to read company reviews, make sure to get a quote and ask for a recommendation from your friends. Follow these tips and it really helps.

  1. Look or use an old good language textbook.

Aside from browsing on the internet, studying in a language learning company and getting a personal tutor online are a great help—but to learn Japanese basics and language rules you’ll need a good old-fashioned textbook.

We all know that using a textbook or having a good book while studying is a great means to learn effectively. Once you’ve forgotten some important lessons you have a best friend on your side to scan with.

Japanese textbooks direct you the language in its most accurate form. It instructs you step-by-step through major grammar rules, important vocabulary and forms of speech.

The book is very essential in learning it is a compilation of important facts and lessons. If you have a book, the learning process will succeed to the extent.


What is the hardest language, learning Japanese or Chinese language?

For a beginner or with zero knowledge, both Japanese and Chinese languages are hard. But, if you have a little knowledge about the language, it’s easier for you to cope up.

If you wish to learn Japanese or Chinese it has its own set of difficulties. If the language is new to you it might be hard for you to master the language.


Studying unfamiliar and difficult languages like Chinese and Japanese is not an easy thing. You need to learn vocabulary words, characters, grammar, writing style, pronunciation, etc.

Japanese and Chinese languages, both use ‘kanji’ characters, Japanese poses a harder challenge when it comes to various readings for every character.

To sum up, Chinese characters have one reading, while Japanese characters have several readings.

Let say a Mandarin speaker is learning the Japanese language it is easy for him to learn the Japanese language because it is simple for him to recall the pronunciation, usage, meaning, subtleties of Chinese borrowed vocabulary words in Japanese.

Japanese and Chinese have similarities in terms of vocabulary. A born Chinese speaker is absolutely familiar with the Chinese words when encountering them in Japanese.

There are some ways to make it easier and there are also ways to make it more difficult. However, if you have the determination to learn and positive point of view you may be able to achieve your goal in learning the language.

Which language is advisable to learn first?

If you have zero knowledge for these two languages, you are advised to choose the Japanese language before the Chinese language.

Japanese language is not complicated in terms of their spoken words, not like the Chinese language.

The explanation below will lead you to identify some perspective on this question.

  • The Japanese language has few syllables (100+) while standard Mandarin has around 1300 syllables.
  • The Japanese do not have end consonants for each syllable, while the Chinese language has consonants at the end.
  • The Chinese have tones for individual syllables, but the Japanese don’t have.
  • If you learn Japanese first which has high vocabulary before the Chinese you are able to recognize Chinese characters easily.
  • By learning Japanese high vocabulary words first before Chinese vocabulary, you are studying in sequential order, which is more efficient and clear.

If you are ready and positive to learn a foreign language, there are several helpful means available. There are many school companies and academic programs offering you to learn a foreign language online.

The crucial question that many learners ask is the cost of taking up this lesson. The expense is very important element in choosing a language program.

How much is the cost of learning Japanese and Chinese languages?

The expenses of learning Japanese and Chinese languages have no definite cost and specific computation. Whether you’re looking for a new academic quest, business and career skills in life, everything has a huge payoff.

Learning Japanese and Chinese languages is expensive and more time-consuming. The expenses will differ from language to language, monetary and state to state.

Online language lessons the same to live lessons are in demand today. Digital computer-assisted learning method has burst in popularity as well. You can learn at your spare time and book for many hours as you want per day. You may add more sessions with the language tutor at additional fees.

If you have more budgets find a perfect destination to learn a foreign language abroad. Learning abroad is different from online learning and more expensive, but worth it.

Whether you’re a traveler or not, surely studying abroad is fun and it opens up conversation with more people in the universe. It is a great addition to any job portfolio and an achievement of personal success.

Whatever choices you make keep in mind that your goal is to learn foreign language not to impress anyone but to succeed. Choose the best that benefits you, make a plan and don’t hesitate to ask for a quote.

As you wish to learn these languages, be ready to prepare some money for related learning expenses.


Above all, learning two languages at the same time is certainly a challenge. Learning multiple languages at the same time is risky. However, it is definitely possible.

The victory in language learning comes from taking one language at a time. But, if learning two of these languages at once enrich your life, then go for it. You just take it one at a time with serious commitment, patience and motivation.

The above tips will guide you in your endeavor to weigh things throughout in learning Japanese and Chinese languages and to prevent you from confusing the two languages.

By Sandy Allain

Polyglot, Blogger, and Internet Marketer. I have worked in the language education industry for many years and I also speak several languages. I can help you choose your best language courses online and much more.